The U.S. Treasury got around Wednesday to issuing the final regulations that the Central States Pension Fund and others must follow under a controversial 2014 law that allows struggling funds to cut current benefits.
A spokesman for the Treasury said the guidance update was not a decision on Central States’ proposal under the law, which it made under a set of temporary regulations issued last summer. A ruling on Central States’ proposal, from Treasury-appointed special master Kenneth Feinberg, is expected next week.
Central States referenced notice of the final regulations on its website.
“The Central States Pension Fund Trustees are currently reviewing final guidance issued on Tuesday, April 26 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury regarding MPRA (the 2014 law) and its effect on the development and implementation of Central States Pension Fund’s rescue plan. This guidance is more than 100 pages in length,” the website said.
A statement on the Treasury’s website said the final regulations left the basic requirements Central States must meet intact.
“The final regulations do not change the basic requirements for applications to reduce pension benefits. They provide further clarifications based on information received during the public comment period,” the statement said.
Central States says it expects to run out of money in a decade, leaving 200,000 current retirees it covers without pension checks.
The 2014 law allows funds in critical and declining condition to seek approval to cut current benefits in an effort to prevent the fund’s failure and the loss of all future benefits. Retired Teamsters have received letters showing how much Central States’ proposal would cut their monthly checks, many by half or more.
Many local retired Teamster groups have held rallies to protest the proposed cuts and to seek changes to the 2014 law or its repeal.